The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Gombe State Command has uncovered an illegal refinery in the Federal Low-cost area of the state and arrested the owner, Abubakar Aliyu.
Parading the suspect on Thursday, December 28, 2023, Commandant Muhammad Muazu, said he was arrested in the act of producing gasolines in the neighbourhood, adding that the arrest was sequel to complaints from residents.
According to Muazu, the alleged refinery is not eco-friendly, due to the hazardous substance emitted in the environment.
“The illegal refinery is situated within Gombe metropolis. In there is what they are illegally producing which is gas, we had the intelligence for weeks and we have been following only yesterday God helped our men to move to arrest the perpetrators,” he said.
“The community members reported the odour emanating from the area and we kept monitoring until now. Whatever the place is called it is harmful to the health and environment of the area.”
Also speaking, the acting Coordinator of Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Abass Adamu, lauded the NSCDC for alerting his establishment which would ensure Gombe residents get value for their money.
He promised to take the samples for laboratory analysis to determine their genuineness or otherwise.
“A gasoline is a refined product from liquid crude oil, but this one is not from crude oil but they are using other raw materials to extract gasoline from them. A gasoline is basically diesel. The company was wrongly sited. The business is not supposed to be there as it has hazardous effects on residents. It’s an unregistered company,” Adamu said.
“My state Coordinator has called off his leave to expedite the investigation and our Director-General is also committed to ridding the state and country off from adulteration.”
On his part, the Managing Director of the refinery, Abubakar Aliyu, 44, denied insinuations that the establishment is a refinery describing it as pyrolysis.
He disclosed that he didn’t know he required registration with SON, as he used tyres, nylon, coal and many others as raw materials.
Aliyu told the punch that he established the pyrolysis shortly after attending a workshop in Abuja.
“When I learnt of the hazard I went to buy land outside of the residential area. I didn’t know we required a registration from SON but I was about to get clearance from Ministry of Environment,” he said.
According to him, he didn’t build it himself but only gathered the needed expertise from people having had a clear vision of what he wanted.
“Since my childhood, I knew how to create things like cars. I don’t build it myself I call builders who give me what I want I studied Agricultural Engineering, and before now I have been in Telecommunications selling recharge cards, and phones. I only started this business three weeks ago.”
Some residents who pleaded anonymity said the odour from the refinery polluted the environment, adding that the owner was adamant about the health implications to children and the aged.